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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 10, 2009 3:59 PM. The previous post in this blog was OK, it's Tuesday in February. The next post in this blog is Dear Nick Fish. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

If that's all there is, my friend, then let's keep dancing

Well, Obama's version of the bank bailout is going over on the same lead-balloon-like trajectory as Henry Paulson's. The Dow is down well below 8,000, and the 7,000 bottom I had been thinking about may be optimistic. We could wind up at half that.

It's not hard to see why. Everybody knows that the latest Washington "stimulus" product will only postpone, and not avoid, serious fiscal calamity for America, if not the world. It's full of all sorts of tax giveaways that aren't going to help much. Big tax credits for buying a house or a new car. Loosening up of a goodly number of rules that were designed to prohibit corporate accounting shenanigans -- now the shenanigans wil be formally recognized. A $300 check to everybody on Social Security. The welfare lines are growing and our infrastructure is crumbling, and this is the best we can do?

And of course, more hundreds of billions of federal dollars for banks that deserve to fail, and many of whom eventually will. More refusal to acknowledge that the country's financial underpinnings are resting on sand. "Don't actually write down that stinkbomb portfolio -- just walk around it." More insistence that private interests and their CEOs make money every time future taxpayers' bank accounts are raided. More going along with the captains of industry and finance, who can't let go of their Lear jets and houses in the Hamptons.

It's time for the Democrats to start acting like Democrats. Maybe we shouldn't nationalize the banks and set up a new army of uniformed Works Progress Administration road-building crews. But we need to do something a lot more like that, and a lot less like Paulson World. Unfortunately, the Clintonistas who have re-established themselves at the helm aren't a whole lot different from the Paulson people. And so we continue to hemorrhage money with no real rhyme or reason.

I'm a Democrat, and anything is better than Bush and McCain, but pardon me if I don't really want to have a house party to rally behind this.

Comments (49)

sorry Jack - but I would rather have McCain trying to right the ship than the team Obama put together...

I would bet McCain would not have entrusted a tax cheat to shore up the economy...

Right the ship? This is a hell of a lot more serious than a capsized ship.

I've never been able to figure out how we can take care of $500 trillion worth of derivatives with a trillion here or there. The size of the financial exposure is unimaginable.
There's an old saying from the Middle East that goes something like this: One idiot can put a stone in a hole and a thousand geniuses can't get it out.
These last 8 years could prove the end of America. 500 TRILLION dollars of financial exposure. We can't begin to deal with that.
I hope I'm wrong but when President Obama talks about a crisis that we can't reverse, that is what he means.
The banks that we helped out with TARP are now in worse shape then before we helped them. Translation: We can't help them.

You and Sam Smith are often on a very similar wavelength; here's an excellent piece he put up recently:

February 9, 2009 BILL TO NOWHERE?

Sam Smith

One can say with confidence that the failure to pass the second bailout will substantially hastened the collapse of the economy.

But having said that doesn't mean it's a good bill, or even close. It's not unlike our healthcare system, legislated by a series of compromises, payoffs, ideological idiocies and unsupportable assumptions, resulting in something nobody really wants.

It is a classic example of Washington's political Asperger's Syndrome, with the best and the brightest producing the worst and the most opaque; abstract intelligence unable to deal with the practicalities of every day life.

Which is why, for example, the bill is so deficient in dealing with what we were told was the major problem: housing foreclosures. Why not, asked one of our readers, funnel the necessary money through the troubled homeowners rather than giving it directly to the banks? That way you help both, whereas with the chosen route, only the banks win.

Why not set up public banks to make the loans the private banks won't? Why not let the government become an equity partner with troubled homeowners?

A small businessman, writing in the Washington Post, offered another suggestion:

"What small businesses need, immediately, is healthy demand for their goods and services. The rebate checks of last year aimed to provide just that, but most Americans saved the money or used it to pay down debt. Less than 20 percent went to bolster consumer spending. There's little reason to expect more from the proposed $1,000-per-household tax cut in the current stimulus bill. . .

"A better choice would be something Americans are likely to spend, and without huge logistical headaches: a gift card. By sending every taxpayer a $2,000 debit card, the government stimulates spending directly. The card doesn't get deposited with a bank, a step that greatly reduced the use of last year's rebate checks for new spending, and with a defined expiration time, perhaps a year, the program could help precisely while other programs get underway. . .

"Gift cards have a nationwide redemption rate of 80 percent. If such debit cards were used at the same rate, the cost of the program would be $270 billion, for a greater effect at less cost than the proposed tax breaks."

Like it not, that's an example of the way a small business owner thinks and it's the sort of thinking that is sorely absent in the capital. You start with the ordinary people in trouble and try to help them.

The worst culprits, of course, are the Republicans who managed to get an extraordinary number of tax breaks of the sort that have been found useless in previous fiscal downturns. They were aided by Obama, who has become so bipartisized that he initially gave away a huge chunk of the deal, thereby making any compromise far larger than it needed to be.

The Democrats did their part, dumping pet projects into the bill of the sort that were heavenly gifts to GOP critics and rightwing talk shows. Further, they gave excessively to the highway lobby and badly shortchanged rail construction.

Then the Democratic leadership gave the extremist center its chance and sure enough it aimed at some of the best provisions of the bill including cutting funds for school construction, Head Start, food stamps, public transit and firefighting.

Because of its sheer size, it may help or it may only slow the disaster. What we can say, however, is that with a bit more integrity, smarts and concern for the fate of the ordinary American, it could have been a dramatically better measure.

I would bet McCain would not have entrusted a tax cheat to shore up the economy...

Come on. You guys put Goldman Sachs in charge -- I rest my case.

This afternoon NPR ran an interview about the supposed decline in luxury purchases. The guy interviewed said that the wealthy had suffered as much - if not more - than the rest of the population. Oh, boo hoo! I didn't realize!

The difference of course is that some of us are in a better position to weather qualified "suffering" than others. And if "suffering" means that someone can't buy a $5,000 purse . . . well I'm not sure I'd call that suffering, exactly.

There was an interesting article in the Times the other day about how hard it is to live in New York City on a mere $500,000 a year.

I'm really starting to see how this is all going to end up being settled in the streets. Heaven help us.

This Geithner guy doesn't seem ready for prime time.

Anybody who's been involved with running the Federal Reserve through all this is suspect.

Bill M. says: One idiot can put a stone in a hole and a thousand geniuses can't get it out.

I can guarantee that I will use that expression over and over to the point of overuse.

Combined with the continuation of the 'Faith-based Initiatives' illicit giveaway, and the 'state secrets' protecting the reprehensible 'extraordinary rendition' program, along with 'enhanced interrogation', this additional faux pas just makes it even more disappointing.

THIS ISN'T A CHANGE!

IT'S THE SAME OLD CRAP!

I would bet McCain would not have entrusted a tax cheat to shore up the economy...

Why not? He was one of the culprits of the savings and loan debacle...even one of the Keating Five. Hell, he was even censured by his cohorts in the Senate for 'selling influence'. What makes you think he would do any different now?

I mean, really...Two thirds of his top election advisers were business lobbyists. That's why he had to come back to Washington in the middle of his campaign, because that's where most of his advisors had gone...to buy some more influence. I guess he just wanted to be there to get in on it (or, he just couldn't do anything, anyway).

If McCain were there, it'd be much, much worse.

Don't forget McCain's buddy Phil Gramm, one of the 2 or 3 people regularly blamed for this mess. Phil's the one who called us a nation of whiners.

Yeah...this is "all in our heads".

Well, it sounds like we'll need some brainwashing.

Phil Gramm has been disclosed for the fraud that he truly is. His curve was a Laffer, for sure.

In retrospect, Obama probably should have appointed an outsider as Treasury Secretary, not another Wall Street insider who is apparently infected with Goldman Sachs disease, which I would define as not knowing the value of a dollar and being ignorant about or oblivious to the lives most Americans lead. No wonder some people have suggested changing the acronym TARP to BARF (Bank Assistance Relief Fund).

[Note to Bill M: Might the saying you posted start: "one idiot can put a hole in a stone" (not the other way around)?]

Probably better left for the historians, but the comment about the the groundwork for the present economic meltdown being laid in "last 8 years" is probably an oversimplification - its convenient to blame the one political party for what is happening, but I think that is actually dangerous because it masks the more fundamental systemic cultural problems this country faces that seem to be manifesting themselves in the current crisis. Two that come to mind are rampant greed and a sense of entitlement that perhaps only the French can exceed. My guess is, when the dust settles in about 5-7 years, this will be viewed as having been an economic perfect storm: a heavy, but otherwise secular recession following a very long bull-market run, together with a once in 50 years banking/credit meltdown. The seeds for the latter were laid over the past 15-20 years. I mean, Charles Schumer was beside himself with glee when Glass-Stegal was repealed, along with 96 other senators.

Hey, what do you expect we have the same geniuses in Congress year in and year out - who are totally out of touch with the real world? It really makes no difference Demo or Repub, they just have no clue.

I think Pre Obama can make a diff, but if this is the crap he gets for law coming out of Congress, god help us all.

I understand taking the long view of this even going back to the Federal Reserve's inception, but I just lived through 8 of the worst years of government I have ever seen and I'm not in the mood to try and diffuse the blame Bush and Cheney should get.
Start with blowing a trillion on Iraq.

The term is "minding the store" and they weren't. Springing these problems on the American People a few months from leaving office is not what they were paid to do. And the fact that they believed fervently in deregulation and the notion that government can't work, only adds to the theory that they were the ones who tanked the economy.

Put it this way: If we could go back to our fiscal condition in January of 2001, would you?

Who's knows what is happening?

This is how I perceive things.

It aint Bush or Obama.
Government grew to the monster that made this all happen.
The monster that became so tied up stumbling around trying to manage itself that it could no longer oversee what it should.

Where's that first $350 Billion TARP money that went to the banks?
Do you realize that is equal to the entire state budgets of 10 states? It's gone.

Maybe it's easier to look just at California. What a total failure of BIG government.
Yet the BIG Government California establishment is still complaining, right up to the end, that the BIG Government of California just never got enough money.
That their Government isn't BIG enough. If only they could have been BIGGER?

That's the story for the country too. It's not working in California and it's not working for the country.

It wasn't Bush's doing and Obama isn't going to change or fix anything.

Please someone tell me what huge problem did any recent Congress, President and our BIG government not make worse while claiming to be fixing it, while on the way to this precipice we find our country and global economy on?
This current mess is certain to get much worse BECAUSE our HUGE government is trying to fix it.

A third or so of the bailout & stimulus money will essentially go missing with no sings of it having done anything at all.
Our BIG government is incapable of following it. But it will be gone somewhere.

The remainder will not spur any recovery and in a few short months our BIG government will be looking at throwing another Trillion at the frightened masses which BIG government has made dependent and weak.

We're probably going to go through some long term aftermath recovery in some Soviet/Japan type combined hybrid-quasi approach and it won't be pretty.
At the end of days, or BIG Government, it will have shrunk to a fraction of it's current disastrous behemoth.


Will reparations finish the job ?

Ben,
I'm glad you asked. Big government fixed one problem exactly like it was supposed to, by getting out in front of it and making it go away. It was the computer rollover to 2000. Remember all the smart people who said we were doomed because the computers only saw two digits and would see 00 as 1900?

Billions were spent in advance by government along with private industry to correct the codes. When midnight came, there was virtually nothing that went wrong.

I bet if this problem with derivatives had been diagnosed and addressed in a timely fashion, none of this would have happened.

Blaming our problems on big government is a convenient way to get Bush and Cheney off the hook. But it was the idiots in charge not seeing the problem and regulating before it could swamp us, that did us in. The idea that the conservatives could use this crisis as a way to prove they were right, is the ultimate in gall. This didn't have to happen.

And I bet if Bush and Cheney had been in charge before 2,000 we'd still be digging out from those computer problems as well.

I found Krugman's insta-analysis more interesting (and hopeful) than the market's. Kind of amazing, too, that this Nobel Prize winning economist says he's not sure exactly what the Geithner plan entails, and yet so many commentators here have it nailed.

I think Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle has the best take on what's going on:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/02/11/notes021109.DTL

Bill, I think you are a little bit right. But to claim "that this didn't have to happen." is largely wrong. What is happening was bound to happen because it has been decades in the makings.

I am not going to lay blame on the political scales. If the derivatives problem was attacked under Clinton or Bush, yes, maybe some of the fallout could have been less. But there are many more elements, and who knows if they could have been identified and the right solution with many suggested solutions would have been picked. With the partisanship we have it is doubtful to me that the right fix would be chosen.

Bill,

Come on.
That's a terrible example. Funny really.
Was that a joke?
Y2K was the problem that wasn't.


BIG government is too busy chasing itself around in circles expanding to diagnose and address what it should.
That's my point.

Do you honestly think a Gore or Kerry BIG government administration would have caught and prevented this?

How's that? They and their congress BIG government would have been even more busy expanding in circles.


Yeah I am blaming our problems on big government. It doesn't work. That's why I gave California as an example.

Are you blaming CA problems on Bush and Cheney?


I think your blaming Bush and Cheney is a convenient way to let prior admin., Congress and BIG government off the hook.

Is that gall? I don't know. But the administrations, Congress our BIG government agencies are all to blame.

You say this didn't have to happen?

Sure it did. It had become inevitable.

Look what Portland was doing stacking up debt and deferring maintenance etc.

And California, was imploding. Gray David, Schwartzenager, legislators and BIG CA Government are to blame.

New York the same.
All across the country big troubles were boiling. Oregon and WA too.


The federal government is so massive that it's dysfunctional.


Executive and congressional oversight doesn't work. No matter who is sitting there.
Think about it this way. The same amount of electeds we had 100 yeas ago are supposed to manage a government now many times the size it was then. That's the case at the State and local level too.
The Portland City council doesn't even know what is going on at the PDC where no one is elected.

Bush and Cheney are not responsible for lack of Congressional oversight.
That makes my point.


Sure, as soon as it was not a problem anymore it was easy to downplay it.

Okay, here are 2 other big government projects that went okay: Apollo to the moon, and WW2.

This ruin is NOT done by Democrats, or Republicans, or monolithic Congress ... or Wall St. or a few other scapegoats sometimes mentioned.

This ruin is BECAUSE none of them UNdone it, at all, the whole time the countdown to ruin was ticking away.

What MUST be UNdone is the 1914 Federal Reserve, AND the 1946 Pentagon of '5 militaries.'

Making it UNdone seems all too impossible until we recall the precedent of adding an Amendment to the Constitution which -- in a single sentence! Repealed an earlier (Prohibition) Amendment. So, one sentence: The Fed.Reserve and the Pentagon are hereby Repealed. Pass it and enact it first. Afterward, the reclamation crew can figure out the details of removal.

---
The 'RUIN' problem started decades ago, so it is understandable that no one gets hot'n'bothered about it nowadays. But how come no one gets upset about today's CRIMES? For instance:

Sept. 10, 2001, Rumsfeld stated: "We [the Def.Dept.] cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.

IN 2001, the SECRETARY of DEFENSE STATED HE 'UNACCOUNTABLY' 'LOST' OVER 2 TRILLION DOLLARS. How come that military 2.3 Trillion is not discussed MORE than Obama's make-jobs 'trillion' dollars, or Bush's 'trillion' dollar banker giveaway months ago?

"I'm really starting to see how this is all going to end up being settled in the streets."

The last 30 days, at least, Wayne Madsen Report (.COM) has linked the worldwide news stories of RIOTS in the STREETS, attacking banks, attacking CAPITALIST PLAGUE of greed and avarice and debauchery and RUIN. Here's today's WMR list:


Demonstrations continue in Guadeloupe and Martinique.
French unions plan another general strike and national protest. March 19... shut down in protest of Sarkozy ....
Honduran teachers go on strike.
Laid-off high-tech workers protest in front of government offices in Taipei.
Madagascar opposition calls for general strike.
Tung Fang Jih Pao, Hong Kong, Feb. 10, reports 200 villagers from Yangjiang's Dakui village, Guangdong province, clashed with several hundred anti-riot police on 8 February after villagers closed down a highway to protest unsatisfactory land requisition compensation.
Ekho Moskvy, 9 February, Some 100 employees of the company Krasnoyarsk Airlines (KrasAir) took part in today's protest in Krasnoyarsk, Russia ....

And here is a website full of world news -- Global Research (.CA) -- stories suppressed by the massmedia (puppets of PentagonCIA), world news you probably never saw, world news which shows that 1 or 2 or even 3 Trillion today (and spotty success how much it 'helps' people and the economy), is CHUMP CHANGE compared to the RUIN of America by MILITARY MANIA enraging OVER 1 Trillion dollars EVERY YEAR (of Bushbutchery) at devastating the Earth.

Two examples from today's Front Page at Global Research:

US Military Bases: Time to Set Okinawa Free -Military colony of the Pentagon
- by Sherwood Ross
Worse than the Great Depression - by Dr. Krassimir Petrov

And those two examples are arbitrary, not even the strong stuff. The main point being that someone who forms their opinion, or argues for fault and blame, based on American-media news items in a narrow time window over the last few months, or few years, is someone who is clueless about what the 'RUIN' problem is or how to remedy it.

Change: Giving the economy the approximate glide angle of a B-17G in a flat spin, with three engines on fire...

Bill,
I asked, "Please someone tell me what huge problem did any recent Congress, President and our BIG government not make worse"

"recent"

And you first gave Y2K,

And now "Apollo to the moon, and WW2."

Neither fits even close.

The really BIG problems are like SS and that spiraling fiscal mess.
Instead of improving SS and Medicare , they added another whopping entitlement they can't monitor with the prescription drug program without means testing.
But like I said above, government is also too big to oversee what they should. As demonstrated recenlty with banking, Madoff, Freddie mac Fannie may etc.

IMO the idea that congress will be fixing our economy is fantasy at the highest level.
I see it as certain that government across the country will deepen and prolong our economic cataclysm.

When one looks closer to home with the city of Portland or Oregon, WA or California the trend clarifies.
The policies and approach by Adams, Burkholder, Kulongoski, Gregoire and Schwarzenegger et al are swamping the entire west coast in a madness of government chaos that has no authentic oversight, management or fiscal prudence. None
At the same time they are fighting an imaginary boogeyman in AGW.
A complete disgrace IMO.

"It's time for the Democrats to start acting like Democrats"

They are.

Maureen Dowd's critique of Geithner's plan:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/opinion/11dowd.html?_r=1

Maureen Dowd's critique...

Oh my God. Maureen Dowd isn't equipped to critique anything more weighty than the latest trends in botox use among Washington political wives.

Make it simple.

You have $ 200.00 in your pocket. Your kids need shoes. There's no milk in the fridge. Your engine light is blinking on your 2000 Jeep with 85,000 miles on it. The rumor on the job is layoffs.

Do you trust Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed or Barny Frank to tell you how to manage your money ?
Do you think it's a good time to borrow more money for condoms, social engineering or other liberal wishlist items ?
Should you go out and put $ 2000. on your credit card for health club dues or Sierra Club donations ?

The President needs to LEAD, not campaign. I understand that there is a learning curve, but mortgaging the country is the ultimate risk. Go sing "Imagine" if you want to feel happy about yourself. I don't want to pay the bill for social engineering.

The market didn't seem to like Tax Cheat Timmy's little plan did it?

And Barry O doesn't really seem to have a clue about economic issues which isn't surprising. He is young, and a lawyer so how could he know much? Lawyers tend to really suck at econ for some reason. Just read a few anti-trust cases by the Supremes and you'll see what I mean.

Personally I think Pelosi is the evil witch cooking the brew. She has stuffed the stimulus bill with pork for all of her friends. She appears to be the source of stupidity that the House is spewing forth. Naturally she comes from CA which appears to be melting down from years of chronic overspending. Those guys have been borrowing and spending for so long they can't even remember a balanced budget much less produce one.

So the irony in all of this is that decades of overspending got us into this mess and Barry O says more overspending will get us out?? He might know a little bit about con law but he seems fairly clueless on most everything else so far. Guess it is time to recycle Jack's pet name for the Pres, looks like we have another Chimp in Charge.

She's good when she's on target, which I think she is in this opinion piece.


Ben,
You're right about big government in the recent past. I thought the last 8 years were atrocious, and it was especially hard to take from a movement that talked about smaller government.

What about the notion that Wall Street should be left unregulated and then it will automatically take care of business, and not get into trouble through corruption and greed?

Everything needs checks and balances which is why Bush/Cheney were so dangerous. They routinely ignored any oversight.

I stick with the Y2K thing. That could have been nasty and the only reason it didn't happen is because people saw it coming and fixed it first. I wish they had done that with these derivatives.

I can't believe the viability of America has been threatened by something like this. Think of all the threats we could have faced, and it's bankers gambling 30 dollars on a 1 dollar loan that's got us? Ridiculous.

Bill,
I don't disagree with you on oversight.
I made that clear. It's my central point.

But we need checks and balances by Congress and government agencies as well.
At all levels.

Why do we have the SEC? It's massive bureaucracy. Same goes for the others.

What are they doing?

Prior administrations, congress and goverment provided no more than the Bush/Cheney era.

You have to admit they ALL routinely ignored any oversight.

It's gotten worse as goverment swelled.
At all levels it's the same story.

There is no adequate oversight.

Not in Portland, not at the State level and not the federal level.

She's good when she's on target, which I think she is in this opinion piece.

Which is just another way of saying she's good when you agree with her. In fact, she's everything that's wrong with the political commentary in this country. It was she and her fellow fatuous scribblers who gave us Bush and Iraq because they were bent on convincing the world that the color of Al Gore's suits was a meaningful topic of discussion. She's a helluva talented writer, I'll grant you that -- talented enough, it appears, to get some people to fall for her finger-to-the-wind moral outrage.

And I bet if Bush and Cheney had been in charge before 2,000 we'd still be digging out from those computer problems as well.

And whoever had been in charge (probably with no computer experience) would have been publicly applauded for "doing a heck of a job", then fired within a month.

Problem "over;" move on and repeat.

So, Pete, you don't agree with Dowd that:

"Wall Street cannot be trusted to change its culture."

That's pretty much the gist of the piece, and one of the points The Professor made in his post.

You know, our politicians have made the bank bailout and the economic stimulus package too complicated. I think the complexity is there to disguise their real purpose, which is to channel more of the nation's wealth to the Wall Street fatcats and the titans of big corporations.

I'd do it differently. I'd have the Federal Reserve print $2.3 trillion of paper currency in $1000 and $500 denominations, and then order the Treasury Dept. to send $7,500 cash to every legal citizen - man, woman and child - of the US. This currency would be special: it would expire (have no worth) in two years, and it would have George W. Bush's picture on it. Both of these features would encourage people to spend this currency. This temporary currency would boost the economy, the US wouldn't have to borrow money, the distribution would be equitable, and this currency wouldn't cause inflation over the long run because it would eventually have no value. Problems solved.

Okay, as someone that does not understand jack s**t about politics or any of this financial nightmare stuff(and yes I know I should)y'all are scaring me to death! What is our future here?? Should I just move to a third world country now and get use to living without a roof over my head or food to eat???

Don't be Confused, think smart, and vote most of the politicians out at all levels and we wouldn't be any worse off. Just a peaceful revolution because I'm getting worried about the other kind. Let's do what central/eastern Europe did.

Confused,

No need to move to a third world country.

Better to start or join a clan for the aftermath Mad Max Road Warrior-like country we may have.
I'm starting one myself.

Restricted membership.

It's all about survival.

So, Pete, you don't agree with Dowd that: "Wall Street cannot be trusted to change its culture." That's pretty much the gist of the piece, and one of the points The Professor made in his post.

Whether she's expressed a view I agree with or not is hardly the point. I don't care what she says. She's proven herself to be morally bankrupt. Don't you get it? She's a poser, a fraud. Good God, what does somebody have to do to lose credibility in this culture? (Yeah, I know, in Sam Adams' Portland that's a tough one.) That she is adept at reaching into the zeitgeist and grabbing onto and shining up a fine statement such as the one you quote above does not impress me.

I agree with Ben {gasp} that government is "too big" but we disagree what the definition of 'big' is. He means federal bureaucrats. I mean federal.

North America coast-to-coast, Mexico-to-Canada, is a 'too big' expanse to be one nation. Such an area can never be governed and citizenship be provided and protected, (nevermind honored), from one 'centralized' seat of authority. Not with more bureaucrats, not with fewer, than now. (As 13 seaboard Colonies, er, States, yeah, one 'federal' government could work, as arranged in the Constitution. 13 was then, 50 is now and at least twenty times bigger ... and complexity increased as the square (400) of the size.)

Dis-unite into manageable-sized regions, constituting multiple countries, (at least 5 or 6, but let's consider a couple dozen). France is the size of Oregon. Britain fits in Montana. Iraq = New York (dinky); Iran = Texas; Pakistan = Georgia; India = Cali-Ariz-Nev; China = Alaska, or everything east of the Mississippi River. (These are all approximate, give or take vast marginal errors -- point being that major world influences from a common interest extend, and almost always a country's or nation's cohesive governing 'common interest' is simply and singularly a river's watershed.)

(Supposedly) Plato said, "Democracy works in an area no larger than the range of the human voice." Which was the operative perimeter parameter until radiowave transmission came along.

---
But Ben loses it when he tries to conjure Mad Maxdom. The fiction in that movie is that Max never stops at a restaurant to get something to eat, and never needs a toilet. Nevermind water. No doubt some Maxwell wanna-be's expect to 'clan up' and perhaps might ... for one month, until starvation kills that role model.

---
"Should I just move to a third world country now and get use to living without a roof over my head or food to eat???"

No, yes, yes. Not necessary to move anywhere to be in a "third world country" situation -- that's coming here.

And, y'know what? It was not destined to be this way, with no mitigation and no alternative, until Florida 2000. And no Gore. That's what tolerating criminal Bush meant -- devastation.

---
"What is our future here??"

An on-going detailed description and discussion is here: From the Wilderness' Peak Oil Blog -- the drama Petroleum Man.

---
But, hey, can't we just hate all the self-concerned electeds and public employees a little while longer? ... until we get our whole tankful of neighborly hate spent out of our system ... or get rich and self-secure, whichever comes first ...

Ben,can I get a membership in your clan? Thank you Ten for that link.

"But Ben loses it when he tries to conjure Mad Maxdom."

Well obviously I was inferring a more current "Oregon Way" Mad Maxdom".

One where me and my clan will need food and toilets. And I guess that means keeping what we have for our own?

My clan, figuratively speaking but membership implied, would be repelling the crusade to take from us what is ours and to keep our clan secure.

Confused, I'll take that under consideration.


As for {gasp} government is "too big"?

It's not simply the federal bureaucracy.
That's not my sermon tensk.

It's the width and depth of the mission.

And at all levels.

Certainly in the downsizing I would have the de-federalizing of state matters would be mandatory.
Just as the state's roles in local governments would be condensed.

Clearly every one of us wants a certain framework of core functions to be performed effectively by our government.

In it's current behemoth that is impossible.

We can't expect government to take on every imagined task that "sounds reasonable" without recognizing that every new mission weakens the core.

But the fact is we have also adopted many roles that are far from reasonable. A run amok frenzy of government seeking to lesson every discomfort and inequality.

Have we not learned this?
The baby is in the overflowing bath tub and we can't even figure out we need to turn off the water?

Our baby, Government and country, needs to have the water turned way down to a trickle which sustains a low water level where the baby is safe and secure.

Live and grow or drown.

My clan hopes to at least float in the tub till people figure out which is preferable.

Snippets of Ruppert's blog:

AMAZING REVELATIONS ABOUT THE BREAKUP OF THE UNION AND LONG-TERM BUSH FAMILY STRATEGY, (C) Copyright 2009, Michael C. Ruppert, February 06, 2009.

I am watching closely how (the number keeps growing) five state legislatures have introduced resolutions announcing their secession from the Union in the event that certain things happen. Er, excuse me... when they happen.. Doh!, as they happen. (Matt Savinar's tracking them at LATOC). The answer to all this fragmentation/secession/break up discussion is obvious. Why reinvent the wheel. Just break up the 50-state union and turn the states loose. That is actually provided for in the Constitution. It doesn't require creating new governments, legislatures and courts. It's obvious. These resolutions didn't just spring up since January 20th. Following a dissolution of the Republic into a federation, large states like California and Texas are likely to break up within a few years after that. Hell, when it was drafted, the Texas state constitution provided that Texas could break itself up into five states if it wanted to. It still can! If it did, it would automatically become a federation and become the "Russia" to Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Eastern New Mexico. Shoot, and also to a big chunk of Mexico (and the Gulf) too. Texas would be the de facto seller of energy to much of the rest of the continent... A filthy-rich kingdom... in dinosaur think. (Forget that they have little water and the hurricanes have been getting just a little stronger lately.)

THE WHEELS COME OFF OF THE WHEELS THEY JUST PUT ON TO REPLACE THE OTHER WHEELS, by Michael C. Ruppert - (C) Copyright 2009, February 02, 2009.

As I have been hinting on this blog for a while... a massive global repatriation is about to begin. That by itself will generate drama like we have not seen in our lifetimes. I have always said that geography trumps everything. Relocalization has never been an option; it has always been an inevitability. But relocalization takes on a whole new meaning when what, a half a billion or a billion people decide to go home in a big hurry?

Even in China, with all of it's ethnicities, the result will be the same... relocalization. And woe to those who are trapped in unfriendly regions.

It is good to be home.

---

'And there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that every person should return to his or her native district to be taxed ...' Or something like that, I'm just using the wrong words, is all.


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In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 319
At this date last year: 172
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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